Monday, December 13, 2010

Past Perfect Progressive

"Tahitian Women on the Beach" Paul Gaugin, 1891
Use Past Perfect Progressive to express a continuing action from the past to another time in the past. Don't use Past Perfect Progressive when you're including present or future time.

1. I was disappointed that I didn't get the job I applied for. for it for a long time.

2. Igor is happy he passed the citizenship test. in citizenship classes for two semesters.

3. Martha didn't follow the recipe and the cake wasn't good. It's a shame. on it all yesterday morning.

4. Last night, I got home very late. my friends in Berkeley and I lost track of the time.

5. It's too bad that Donald and his girlfriend broke up. together for three years.

6. Melvin is glad that he won the marathon. for it for several months.

7. Our neighbors Mr. and Mrs. Peterson moved to another city to be closer to their grandchildren. I'll miss them. in our neighborhood for several years.

8. Did you really cancel your trip to Acapulco? You must be upset. it for several weeks.

9. Steve was going to come to our party, but he got the flu and couldn't come. It's a shame. to it since we invited him.

10. Roger got a job and couldn't perform in the play. He regretted it. for it for a long time.

11. It's a good thing we saw the Giants game. Remember? to get tickets to that game for weeks before we finally were able to get them.

12. What a relief! I went to the dentist yesterday, and she fixed my cracked tooth. pain for several days.

13. Maria for twenty minutes before she lost her voice.

14. The plane the airport for an hour before it was finally cleared for a landing.

15. We our picnic a lot when it suddenly began to rain.

16. Our favorite restaurant closed last month. It's really unfortunate. there for at least three years.

17. David finally saw the doctor at 5:00 pm yesterday afternoon. He was glad because for the doctor for an hour and a half.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sorting Three Verb Tenses: Future, Present Perfect,
Present Perfect Progressive

"Autumn Landscape With Four Trees"
Vincent Van Gogh, 1885

1. (I, know) how to ski since I was a teenager.

2. (take) My cousins BART to the East Bay and back to San Francisco for years.

3. (be) My sister never to New York.

4. (you, see) How many movies recently?

5. (we, wait) This bus is really late. How long for it?

6. (move) Daniel and his family to San Francisco next year.

7. (already, plan) Tom his trip to Europe.

8. (he, think) about the trip for a long time.

9. (he, shop) When Daniel moves to the United States, in North American supermarkets.

10. (I, own) my house since 2007.

11. (see) Jack the new movie at the AMC Theater yet?

12. (read) I love this book. it for two hours, and I'm not bored at all.

13. (play) Susan tennis since ten o'clock this morning.

14. (she, already, play) Believe it or not, 8 games of tennis and won three of them!

15. (you, write) Aren't you tired? letters all afternoon.

16. (you, write) Tell me. How many letters ?

17. (we, not, clean) We're cleaning our apartment, and we're very slow. the kitchen yet.

18. (we, already, clean) However, the two bedrooms, the dining room, and the bathroom.

19. (they, paint) Our friends are more energetic than we are. their apartment all weekend. They never stop painting except to eat lunch and dinner.

20. (plant) Mr. and Mrs. Parker flowers all day today.

21. (they, already, plant) Believe it or not, ten flowers!
Ten flowers? No wonder they're tired.

22. (they, plant) Not only that, but next weekend, a tree in front of their house.

23. (knit) My grandmother socks since 9 O'clock this morning.

24. (she, knit, already) Believe it or not, 7 pair of socks, and she's going to knit five more pair before she's finished.

25. (memorize) The actor his lines yet. He's not ready to perform.

26. (I, run) for two and a half hours, and I'm getting very tired. Is this race going to end anytime soon?

27. (they, take) Daniel's cousins tell him he shouldn't worry. English lessons for years, and it hasn't been a problem. In fact, they tell him English is "a piece of cake".

28. (you, have) I'm Doctor Greene. I understand your back hurts. How long this problem with your back?

29. (I, never, fly) I'm nervous. I'm going to fly in an airplane tomorrow, and in an airplane before.

30. (fly) Your cousins in airplanes for years, and believe me, there's nothing to be nervous about.

31. (I, study) English for a long time, but I'm not fluent yet. How long will it take me to become fluent in English?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Past, Unreal Conditional: Filling the Blanks

"The Large Family" Rene Magritte, 1963

1. I didn’t buy new shoes because I didn’t need them.
If I new shoes, I would have bought them.

2. I didn’t go to the park yesterday because I was busy.
If I hadn’t been busy, I to the park.

3. I didn’t drink coffee this morning because I was late to work.
If I late to work, I would have drunk coffee this morning.

4. I didn’t drive to work because my son borrowed my car.
I to work if my son hadn’t borrowed my car.

5. We didn’t rent the movie because we saw it last week
If we the movie last week, we would have rented it.

6. The traffic was slow because there was an accident.
If there hadn’t been an accident, the traffic slow.

7. The restaurant didn’t make money because the people didn’t like it.
The restaurant would have made money if the it.

8. The horse didn’t run fast because its leg was injured.
If the horse’s , it would have run faster.

9. I didn’t marry Susan because she loved someone else.
I would have married Susan if she someone else.

10. Tom didn’t play soccer last Saturday because his mother was sick.
If Tom’s mother hadn’t been sick, he soccer last Saturday.

11. The Giants won the World Series because they played very well.
If the Giants very well, they wouldn’t have won the World Series.

12. Mary didn’t go out with Chuck because he was married.
Mary with Chuck if he hadn’t been married.

13. We didn’t rent the apartment because it was too far away.
If the apartment hadn’t been so far away, we it.

14. Mary didn’t buy the dress because it didn’t fit her.
Mary the dress if it had fit her.

15. We didn’t enjoy the party because there were too many people.
We would have enjoyed the party if so many people.

16. Ed didn’t swim yesterday because the pool was closed.
Ed yesterday if the pool hadn’t been closed.

17. Steve didn’t walk to school yesterday because it was raining too hard.
Steve would have walked to school if so hard.

18. The workers quit their jobs because their factory moved to a different city.
If the workers’ factory to a different city, they wouldn’t have quit their jobs.

19. The children didn’t cry yesterday because the clown made them laugh.
If the clown hadn’t made the children laugh, they .

20. They couldn’t sell their book because it got bad reviews.
They their book if it better reviews. ,

21. I didn’t drive to work because I didn’t own a car.
I to work if I had owned a car.

22. I didn’t read when I was young because I watched too much TV.
If I so much TV, I would have read more when I was young.

23. Ray didn’t buy the computer because it wasn’t cheap enough.
Ray would have bought the computer if it cheaper.

24. I didn’t buy a new house because I didn’t win the lottery.
I a new house if I had won the lottery.

25. My son didn’t get the job because he didn’t speak Spanish fluently.
My son would have gotten the job if he fluently.

26. Our grandchildren didn’t visit us because they moved too far away.
They us if they hadn’t moved so far away.

27. They missed part of the class because they arrived too late.
They wouldn’t have missed any of the class if they so late.

28. My mother didn’t bake a cake because she didn’t have enough sugar and flour.
My mother a cake if she’d had enough sugar and flower.

29. I didn’t miss my brother’s birthday because I didn’t leave San Francisco.
I would have missed my brother’s birthday if I San Francisco.

30. I didn’t send you a postcard because I lost your address.
I you a postcard if I hadn’t lost your address.

Jennifer Esl - Past Unreal Conditionals

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Verb "be" in Present Tense

Exercise One - Fill the blanks.

1. I a student.

2. This an English class.

3. The teachers at a meeting.

4. We in Room 326.

5. The restaurant across the street

6. Maria in Oakland.

7. He intelligent.

8. The books on the shelf.

9. The bus late.

10. She very patient.

11. That correct.

12. These sentences easy.

13. I thirsty.

14. It sunny.

15. You his employee.

Exercise 2 - Write Contractions if possible in the following:

1. a student.

2. an English class.

3. at a meeting.

4. in Room 326.

5. across the street.

6. in Oakland.

7. intelligent.

8. on the shelf.

9. late.

10. very patient.

11. correct.

12. easy.

13. thirsty.

14. sunny.

15. his employee.

Jennifer ESL speaks about the verb "be"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Prepositions of Time: "In", "At", "On"

"Love Parade" by Francis Picabia, 1917

Rules for In, At, and On with time expressions:

Use "in" for month, year, season, decade, or century: "Our classes begin in August."
"I was born in 1959."

Use "in" for speaking of the amount of time before the beginning of an event:
"The class will start in ten minutes." (It's now 8:20am, and the class begins at 8:30am)

Use "in" for part of the day such as "in the afternoon" "in the evening".
but, use "at" for "at night"

Use "at" for exact time, just as "at" is used for exact place: "I work at 1125 Valencia Street." "The class begins at 8:30am." "We'll go to lunch at noon." "The news program is at 7:00pm." "We must pay our rent at the beginning of the month."

Use "at" for expressions like "at last" (finally) and "at the same time" (simultaneously)

Use "on" for day or a part of a day: "The classes will begin on Monday, August 16th.""We'll go to the computer lab on Friday."

1. We're going to travel abroad the summer.

2. They usually do their laundry Mondays.

3. Let's meet for lunch at Harvey's Restaurant around noon.

4. December 25th, we celebrate Christmas Day.

5. She's going to return from her trip to Mexico sometime May.

6. There's an important meeting at the office today 10:30 am.

7. Many workers lost their jobs 2008 because of the financial crisis.

8. You're invited to our school picnic. It's going to be Saturday afternoon 3:00 pm.

9. The office staff usually goes out for coffee the middle of the morning.

10. We like to go to jazz concerts the evening.

11. Our rent was due the beginning of the month. We finally paid it June 8th.

12. We heard a loud noise last night around 2 am.

13. Computer technology made very large progress the last decade of the Twentieth Century.

14. Fall Semester classes will begin Monday, August 16th.

15. This store is going to close exactly 11:00 pm.

16. Do you have any plans Independence Day?

17. They lived in New York most of the 1980s. Then, they moved to San Francisco.

18. I'm very busy the moment, but I'll call you later this afternoon.

19. We usually go to church Sunday morning.

20. I have one or two cups of coffee the morning, but not the afternoon.

21. The class starts 10:30 am. Try to be time.

22. Jose was born March 15th, 1975.

23. Mr. Kramer and his family came to this country 1990.

24. Our visitors are going to the new museum Thursday.

25. The weather doesn't get very hot in San Francisco June or July.

26. We enjoy watching movies on TV night.

27. Why is it so windy the afternoon around here?

28. They plan to leave for South America early the fall.

29. Our friends are going to visit us Sunday night.

30. My father used to smoke a pipe the evening after dinner.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Reflexive Pronouns

"The Tourist" M.C. Escher, 1954

Choose the correct reflexive pronoun in the following sentences:

1. Jack used to walk by , but now he walks with his wife.

2. That man over there isn't talking to , he's using his cell phone.

3. They're both good painters, so they can paint their house by .

4. Welcome to our home, Mr. and Mrs. Jones, please help to those drinks and snacks.

5. You should see in the mirror. If you don't, something is wrong with either you or the mirror.

6. Steve and Maria own their business. They can give a vacation whenever they want.

7. Margaret hurt while she was cleaning the apartment.

8. Yolanda and I can fill out these applications by because our English is very good.

9. That cat always scratches when it's nervous.

10. Don't worry about your diet. Go ahead and treat . Have a cookie, and don't stop with just one.

11. Did you study English in a school, or did you learn it by ?

12. Mr. Banks, I think you and your wife can fix your dishwasher by . Just go to our website and click on "troubleshooting your dishwasher."

13. That elephant is washing in the river.

14. Oh, no! Our neighbors locked out of their apartment again!

15. When she doesn't feel like going to the hair salon, my wife cuts her hair by .

16. I'm sorry you lost your dog, but please don't blame for it.

17. Your dog might return home by . You should wait and see.

18. You should look at . You're covered with dirt from working in the garden.

19. Did Matt enjoy at the party last night?

20. Former presidents often wrote their speeches by . Modern presidents employ professional speech writers.

21. Our daughter is only three years old, and she can already dress .

22. Are you sure you want to drive to Chicago by ? It's very far from here.

23. I prefer not to study by . I would rather join a class.

24. Some people enjoy going to the movies by .

25. Sylvia prepared dinner for ten people by .

26. My sons are grown up and know how to go on camping trips by .

27. The cat is cleaning right now and doesn't want to be picked up.

28. We are confident we can decorate our apartment by .

29. Welcome, everybody. The food, plates, drinks, and silverware are on that table. Please, help .

30. What happened here? Why is the living room so clean? I didn't clean it, and I'm sure it didn't clean . If you cleaned it, Jack, I'm really surprised. You never clean anything around here.

Here is a good lesson from "Learning American English" and "Youtube" on reflexive pronouns:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Connectors with "So" , "Neither", "Too", "Either"

"The Railway" Edouard Manet, 1873

Choose "So" or "Neither" in the following:

1. I was born in Mexico.

2. He needs a cup of coffee.

3. We're really exhausted.

4. You didn't understand the teacher yesterday.

5. He'll write a letter to our sister.

6. I don't have their address.

7. We haven't been to Canada.

8. They saw a great movie on Saturday.

9. Amy likes science fiction novels.

10. I haven't eaten much Italian food.

11. He didn't spend much time taking photographs.

12. Her daughter is waiting for the train.

13. You don't see the license number on that car.

14. We like to travel in the summer.

15. He's seen the new textbook for the class.

Now, choose "too" or "either"

15. We're going to take a break in ten minutes.

16. You don't have any idea when the exam will be.

17. She often thinks about her parents in Mexico.

18. I won't be working the rest of week.

19. They went shopping all day on Saturday.

20. We need to finish our homework.

21. They won't be able to attend class tomorrow.

22. He wasn't in San Francisco last summer.

23. Arnold doesn't like violent TV programs.

24. Lenny went out of town last weekend.

25. Gloria hasn't been visiting our grandparents.

25. The children enjoy playing soccer at the playground.

26. She sees the pretty bird on that house.

27. We weren't very interested in the last museum exhibit.

"So do I" and other English Insanity.

"Castle and Sun" by Paul Klee

1. So am I. So will I. So have I. Etc.
2. More "So am I. So do I. Etc.
3. So and Neither
4. So and Neither Tutorial from Eflnet
5. So and Neither, Quiz One, from eflnet
6. So and Neither, Quiz Two, from eflnet

Monday, April 19, 2010

Past Perfect Tense: I had never done that before.

Vukile and John are talking. Their conversation goes something like this:

Vukile: John. Did you jump out of an airplane last weekend?
John: Yes, Vukile, and I had never jumped out of an airplane before.

1. Did you eat at an African restaurant last Saturday?

2. Did you win a chess game last week?

3. Did you find a book about bee behavior last Saturday?

4. Did you fly a kite in Golden Gate Park?

5. Did you visit the Japanese Tea Garden yesterday?

6. I heard that you dropped a brick on your foot recently.

7. I heard that you bought an exotic house plant. Is that true, John?

8. I heard that you became a "couch potato" during the last heavy rain storm.

9. I heard you saw a racoon in your flower bed last weekend.

10. John, I heard that you enrolled in a Zulu language class last week.

11. I heard your sister was named employee of the month yesterday.

12. Did you bake chocolate chip cookies last weekend?

13. I heard you sang in the San Francisco Opera last season.

14. Did you drink a glass of South African beer on Sunday?

15. I heard your wife picked you up in a limo after school yesterday.

16. Did you lose twenty-five dollars in the lottery last week?

17. I heard you fell asleep during an astronomy lecture at Ocean Campus. Is it true?

18. Is it true that you swam to Alcatraz and back last weekend?

19. I heard that you got into an argument with your next door neighbor. Is it true?

20. Is it true that you ran out of lessons in class yesterday?

21. Did you visit your second cousin in Nevada last weekend?

22. I heard you caught a gigantic fish in the bay yesterday. True or not?

23. I heard your parking fine was reduced by the judge. Is it true?

24. Did you play cards with your dishonest colleagues yesterday?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Appropriate Responses to Questions or Statements.

"Sunday on La Grand Jatte" Georges Seurat

What is the appropriate response to certain statements and questions? Sometimes, we don't know what to say in a situation, so we don't say anything. But it's better to know what to say than remain silent.

For example,
A: I just got a raise.
B: That's great. Congratulations.

That is better than:

A: I just got a raise.
B: (silence)

1. I can't come to work. I have a terrible cold.

2. My wife is having a baby.

3. We're having terrible weather, aren't we?

4. Hey, how are you? What's going on?

5. I just tripped and fell. I'm in a lot of pain and I can't move.

6. This is California Pacific Hospital. How may I direct your call?


Sure. It's Ten Thirty.

8. Could you please tell me how to get to the library from here?

9. John. Have the packages been sent yet?

10. How did you and your wife like the movie?

11. Thanks very much for all your help.

12. I just got laid off.

13. My husband left me for another woman.

14. Could you possibly do me a favor?

15. I wonder if I could borrow your dictionary.

16. What do you miss most about your country?

17. How was the party?

18. How was the wedding?

19. Be careful. Don't walk there. It's slippery.

20. Is today Sunday?

21. I'm going on a job interview this afternoon.

22. How do you do?

23. What are you going to name your new dog?


25. You know, you just hit me with your elbow!

26. The Muni Bus System is very unreliable.

27. There needs to be better funding for public education.

28. Would you like to join us for dinner?

29. I want to apologize to you. I didn't mean to close the door on your hand.

30. Would you care for another cup of coffee?

31. Look at that magnificent bird!

32. I wish my neighbors were friendlier.

33. Here's your meal. I hope you enjoy it.

34. I just won the lottery.

35. I just lost my shirt at the stock market.

36. Roger, can you please put everything away and lock up?

37. Mary had her baby last night.

38. Your name is Alvin Parker, am I right?

39. I just saw an accident at the corner of Mission and 22nd.

40. Do you by any chance have a dollar to spare?

41. Rover broke his tooth chewing a bone.

42. The State of California should spend less on prisons and more on education.

43. I'm new in San Francisco. I'm having trouble finding places.

44. I'd like to make an appointment with the doctor.

45. Is Level Five available at 12:30 next semester?

46. Where can I register for classes at Mission Campus?

47. I can't believe it. Without warning, I was given the ax at work.

48. I was really blown away by that film. Were you?

49. Albert was chosen "Employee of the Month."

50. Mr. and Mrs. Tyler were ripped off last week.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Preposition Practice One

"The Voice of the Winds"
Rene Magritte,1928

Choose the correct prepositions: in, on, at, to, from, next to, before, or after. Check your answers by clicking on the little box to the right of each sentence.

1. Pedro is Cuba.

2. She always goes to the supermarket Friday.

3. Bill went to the movies nine o'clock.

4. Sue and Jan went for a walk the park.

5. Mary is writing a letter her mother.

6. Always wash your hands you eat.

7. What time do you get up the morning?

8. The Jones family lives the Smith family.

9. We go the movies every Saturday.

10. Bob is waiting the bus stop.

11. She is going to Puerto Rico July.

12. November comes October.

13. Harry works the office the first floor.

14. John likes to sit me at lunch.

15. The bank is the corner of Dudley St. and Columbia Road.

16. It's raining Maimi today.

17. We get letters John every week.

18. Betty is talking the teacher.

19. He's looking the pictures in the museum.

20. October always comes November.

21. Monday always comes Sunday.

22. Where is he

23. Please sit the red chair.

24. What does Fred do Mondays?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Making questions with "lately" and "recently".

"Back Seat Dodge ’38,” by Edward Kienholz

Use the following words to make yes/no questions in the
Present Perfect Tense.

1. write to your family lately

2. go to the library recently.

3. go to the zoo lately.

4. see any good movies lately.

5. receive any letters lately.

6. be absent lately.

7. have a job interview lately.

8. read any good books recently.

9. make any long-distance calls lately.

10. take any tests recently.

11. be on any interesting trips recently.

12. discover any bargains lately.

13. Maria/apply for a job recently.

14. Steve/get a raise lately?

15. Angela/sing in any operas recently.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Present Perfect Practice.

"Woman With Guitar" by Cubist George Braque

1. Tom (always/dream) of going to graduate school.

2. Roberto (study) at two different language schools.

3. He (be) in San Francisco for only a short time.

4. (he/find) many new friends yet?

5. He (meet) many new friends at Mission Campus of City College.

6. (he/discover) any useful ways to learn English?

7. Well, he (always/enjoy) American and English movies.

8. However, he (not/see) many movies in English.

9. He (always/sing) songs in English. He likes the Beatles.

10. He (translate) ten French songs into English this year.

11. Sylvia (love) music in any language since she was a child.

12. (she/ever/go) to a concert?

13. (she/go) to more than 20 concerts since the fall.

14. (she/not/attend) an opera in English yet.

Instructions: Type in the box. Select a character to speak the lines.
Then, press the play button and listen. Also, you can "copy" and "paste"
lines from the exercises in the box, then listen. The voice quality is
excellent, and it's a good way to hear the pronunciation of any of the lines
from the grammar exercises. "Paul" doesn't work very well, but the other characters do.
You can also select the speed of the reading.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Past, Unreal Conditional: Writing Practice.

"Charles IV and His Family" by Francisco de Goya

Exercise One.

1. Tom wishes he had studied last night.

2. I wish I had taken dance lessons.

3. Mary wishes she had taken a pain pill.

4. I wish I had gotten a flu shot.

5. Sally wishes she had learned French.

6. Steve wishes he had won the lottery.

7. They wish they hadn't watched so much TV.

8. I wish I had seen "Avatar" in 3D.

9. Mary wishes she had driven more slowly.

10. Don't you wish you had eaten breakfast?

1l. Sylvia, don't you wish you had married Tom?

12. Lester wishes he hadn't lost his job.

13. We wish we hadn't bought a lemon.

14. Jack. Don't you wish you had married Ellen Parker?

15. Teacher. Don't you wish you had requested an evening class?
Not really.

16. Susan. Don't you wish you had gone to law school?
Not really.

"Portrait of a Nobleman" by El Greco

Exercise Two
Combine the sentences to form the Past, Unreal Conditional

1. She was sick. She didn't attend school.

2. He drove too fast. He was in an accident.

3. He had to stay after school. He didn't do the homework.

4. I missed the plane. I didn't go to Hawaii.

5. I didn't understand the grammar. I didn't pass the test.

6. She didn't perform well. She didn't have time to rehearse.

7. She didn't read the book. She didn't answer the questions.

8. She was tired last night. She didn't go to the party.

9. John Black wasn't honest. I didn't vote for him.

10. My computer crashed. I couldn't write emails.

11. I didn't have a good interview. I didn't get the job.

12. The music wasn't good. I didn't enjoy the party.

13. He didn't get stuck in traffic. He didn't miss his plane.

14. Alan didn't tell his mother about his cold. She didn't serve him chicken soup.

15. Greta wasn't feeling well yesterday. She didn't go to work.